Growing up on the south side of segregated Chicago in the 1940s and 50s, Arthur Miller and his family were part of an insular African-American community. He was born in a hospital with black physicians and black nurses. His friends were black. His dad worked for a black milk company. The insurance agents, attorneys, and ice-cream salesmen were black.
But in the summer of 1955, another young black child from Chicago on vacation with his family in Mississippi was accused of interacting with a 21-year-old white woman. A few nights later, the woman’s husband and his half-brother kidnapped and beat 14-year-old Emmett Till before shooting him in the head and dumping his body in the Tallahatchie River.